How To Add A Custom Ringtone To Your Nexus 4 or Nexus 5


In this tutorial I will show you how to add a custom ringtone to your Nexus 4 device running Jelly Bean. Please note that this is the same for those who have the Nexus 5 running KitKat 4.4, and I have tested Rings Extended with the new Nexus 5.

When you first get your Nexus 4 and try to change the ringtone from one of the built-in ones, you’ll quickly find that it’s not quite as simple as it should be. The easiest way by far that I have found is to install an app called Rings Extended that will allow you to choose from various music files that you have downloaded and select any one of these as your tone of choice.

Firstly either head over to The Play Store via your Nexus 4 or Nexus 5 device and search for Rings Extended. Select it and install. If you don’t have your phone to hand, then go to The Play Store via your PC and do the same. If you are going to download the app via The Play Store it will give you a choice as to which device you wish to install it on (should you have more than one Android device). Simply select your device and hit install. It will send the app to your handset and install it for you.

Now you have installed Rings Extended, open the app and hit Sound Settings on the first screen. This will then open your Sound Settings area, so just select Phone Ringtone to see the available choices.

Rings Extended Choices

You may have more or fewer options available to you depending on what other media options you use. I have a Google Music, Ringdroid, ES File Explorer and Dropbox account that has my ringtones attached. If you have downloaded the MP3 ringtone and wish to use that then select Media Ringtones and you should see it there. You can still select from the built-in ones as well should you want to by choosing Built-in ringtones. The other way, and easier way to store your ringtones, is to connect your phone to your PC, then Browse to your Android via My Computer and place your ringtones in the Ringtones folder.

Once you have selected your tone of choice, for me it was the Game of Thrones intro music, hit OK.

Select Nexus 4 Ringtone

That’s it.

If you want to get the Game of Thrones ringtone for yourself, then I got it via Zedge

  • Oleg Kreimer

    Hi. Thanks for the tip. I found actually that it works with any file manager also. For example ES File Explorer

    • Richard Gailey

      Yep, ES File Explorer is what I mainly use for ringtones/notifications/videos etc. Just wanted to give people an alternative.

  • David

    Great advice, many thanks. Rings Extended is the perfect solution.

  • Gareth Jones

    Hmmm must be me but the Google music player on device tracks are not available on my nexus 4 when I try to select a track.

    • Gareth Jones

      I mean through rings extended btw

      • Alan

        Has anyone got a solution to Gareth’s problem? Same thing happening me!

    • ronik26

      No, Gareth–it doesn’t work for me either:( I feel like they went out of their way to make this phone as much like an iPhone as possible, and making customization of ringtones complicated is just a part of that:/

    • carlos

      it doesn’t work for me iether, i’m trying on a Nexus 5 btw.

  • Piricho

    I put an .mp3 file in the “Ringtones” folder in the root. Worked like a charm. No need for external apps =D

    • Debbie Cushing

      Why didn’t I think of this? It certainly does work like a charm! Thanks!

    • Mike

      For what it’s worth you can also use FLACs natively in the same way if you’d want a lossless ringtone…

    • skizz

      I was too lazy to read this at first, but kudos I found this out too.

    • Tan

      Thanks!!….works really well.

    • Vinayak

      Thanks It Works..!!!

    • G

      I tried to do that but got an error. And my device is rooted. :(

    • sweety

      thank u so much :) it works great :)

    • bla

      thank you!! incredibly easy to do with es file explorer.

  • Martijn

    Great post!

  • fait

    Great!!!this is what I want to know
    Thank you

  • Bobby Meeks

    the app will make you pilfer through your entire media library – music and everything – or use one of the installed explorer apps – which is what I was trying to avoid. Instead I created the folder “/sdcard/media/audio/ringtones” and pasted the G4 ringtones in it. They were all visible as ringtones for me on my GNEX. Cheers!

    • michael

      I did the but the mp3 shows up in Google music. Know any way of stopping this?

  • Karan Sharma

    Just bought my nexus 4 and I wasn’t sure how to set a custom ringtone. This post was extremely helpful. Thank you so much!

  • LindaJ

    Couldn’t sort out new ringtones on my new Nexus 4 many thanks for the post which quickly got it sorted

  • snafoo

    cant i do it from the phone without downlaoding any app?

    • Anand

      Hi, yes you can do it without any app, just place the ringtone in the folder “Nexus 4Internal storageRingtones” i mean in the Ringtone folder provided with the phone.

      • laparka

        I did this and couldn’t figure out for the life of me why the song still didn’t appear in the ringtones menu. Then I remembered you have to power down and reboot. Idiot.

  • victimofpublicsectorterrorism


  • Rich

    I just bought my Nexus 4. Assigning one of my songs as a ringtone was the only thing I couldn’t figure out. Thanks much for the info about the Rings Extended app. I appreciate it.

  • Javier

    Thanks! i used to have a phone in 2003 that you just went to media, select a song and then go to Options; “Use as ring-tone”. So much easier… Why does Google not want me to have an easy life with their Nexus 4? I’m not unhappy with it though.


  • Dev

    Just bought my nexus 4 and I wasn’t sure how to set a custom ringtone. This post was extremely helpful. Thank you so much!

  • Prafulla

    Good one , I had t struggle a lot… Unless I had implemented your Idea , thanks

  • Lavinia

    thank you! it was very helpful!

  • Rhonda

    Thank you so much for this”. I wasted way too much time before finding this on line. Should have looked right away.

  • Jazz

    Thank you! It really worked well and so much easier than others!!

  • Star

    That was SO easy!!! I fiddled with this for ages and couldn’t figure it out!

  • cat

    Thank you very much for this. i’ve installed it and picked my new ringtone. i found using this app also meant i could pick my own songs for my alarm tone too which is great seeing as the ones on the phone would have scared the living daylights out of me in the morning.

  • rajesh

    I transfered songs via blue tooth to my nexus . songs appear in Play music but not able to set as ring tone. Also downloaded song and the songs appear in download folder but if I clear songs from download they are permanently deleted…… Please help

    • smriti

      Thanks ..i was trying to fix this for so long!! thanks for d post!!

  • alvaro


  • Guest1

    I installed the app and then mistakenly selected ‘Built in Ringtones’. Now what to do? I’ve uninstalled the app and reinstall it, but of no use.!!

  • Smithy


  • shaz

    Very simple to do on my Nexus 5. Working like a charm. Thank you so much for your help!

  • sunny

    thanks allot

  • Anonymous

    Excellent thank, nice and easy steps

  • Honey

    Thnx for ringtone selection assistence….

  • Adam Wallen

    Thanks for this – works beautifully for all my sound selection needs.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the advice. Much appreciated

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, soooooo simple, you are the missile not the bomb, lol

  • Anonymous

    worked easily for a numbskull like me!!

  • navern

    Worked perfectly on my Google nexus 5, thanks dude

  • aAlan weatherly

    how do I listen to my contacts assigned ringtones on my nexus5?


    thank u for puting a smile on my face

  • d_vine

    this is retarded–theres no need to download any app. Just connect your phone to your cpu with the usb cord that will usually comes with the charger– when the folder notification pops up (minimize all current windows and you’ll see a little window pop up that asks you what you’d like to do after connection) just click “open file to view folders” or whatever, the file icon, and go into nexus storage, then find folder labelled “music” or “download” –wherever you put your songs–copy song onto desktop, then find folder labelled ringtones, and pop that song from desktop into that file. Same goes for file labelled “alarms” to change their annoying alarm sounds

    Then go to settings –>sounds and notifications—>ringtones, and voila, the songs will be available for selection. If you want to change alarm sound after putting the song in the right file (as ^ instructions) then go to clock–>alarm icon–>click the time–>hit the bell icon and the ringtones will appear there too.
    Installing more apps is unnecessary and a waste of space!

    PS i suck at anything tech related, can barely use my phone and still figured this out on the 3rd try. theres prolly a more efficient way to do this–without using some stupid app (likely suggested here by its developer) . Basic concept it simple: find the folder in your phone / sims card that stores the ringtones and pop the songs you want in it.

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